U.S. Lawmakers Introduce Stop Arming the Cartels Act to Stop 0.50 Cal Rifles from Reaching Foreign Gangs

U.S. Lawmakers Introduce Stop Arming the Cartels Act to Stop 0.50 Cal Rifles from Reaching Foreign Gangs

Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith
May 17, 2024

U.S. Representatives Veronica Escobar (D-TX), Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and Maxwell Frost (D-FL) recently joined together to introduce the Stop Arming the Cartels Act. The bill seeks to prohibit the sales of 0.50 caliber rifles, as well as regulate the existing 0.50 caliber rifles.

Rep. Escobar has continuously rallied against a prominent, predominately Republican rhetoric surrounding gun laws in the U.S. With this bill, the congresswoman stated that the U.S. can do something to stop the influx of dangerous weapons into countries across the globe.

"The gun laws championed by Republican legislators in this country make Americans less safe. The consequences don't just impact our communities, but they also impact our neighbors in Latin America and around the world," said Rep. Escobar.

The congresswoman continued, “A refusal to act would mean continuing to arm transnational criminal organizations and cartels that purchase these weapons for illicit acts. I'm proud to join my colleagues Representatives Castro, Frost, and our other cosponsors to introduce the Stop Arming Cartels Act that would strengthen rifle regulations and prohibit the sale of certain rifles to prevent further violence and bloodshed.”

Rep. Castro, for his part, highlighted other countries’ desire for “American weapons” to stay in the U.S. and away from gangs.

“When I speak to leaders in Latin America and the Caribbean, their number-one request is for Congress to stop American weapons of war from falling into the hands of the gangs that are destabilizing their countries. Especially in Mexico, access to .50 caliber rifles has fundamentally altered the balance of power between criminal organizations and the government and allowed cartels to become virtually untouchable,” said Congressman Castro.

The representative continued, “Congress can have meaningful debates about broader gun safety reform — but we should all be able to agree that U.S. gun manufacturers should not be selling the weapons that Mexican cartels use to down military helicopters and attack police convoys. The Stop Arming Cartels Act is an important step to restore regional stability and prevent the violence that drives forced migration across our hemisphere.”

Many lawmakers have expressed concern about the smuggling of weapons into the U.S. However, some have ignored the smuggling that takes place from the U.S. into Mexico.

“Just as our gun laws have allowed for far too many lives to be lost at the hands of gun violence, these same laws have also allowed for the flow of guns into Mexico, South America, and beyond — bringing these communities pain, loss, and devastation,” said Congressman Frost.

“I'm proud to join Reps. Castro and Escobar in introducing the Stop Arming Cartels Act to help stop the illegal flow of guns, help weaken the power of these dangerous cartels, and to save lives,” concluded the Florida representative as he addressed weapon smuggling.

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Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith is a writer and recent graduate, majoring in English.

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